Saturday morning was a rough patch for me. I was not in the pit of depression and I still laughed happy some that day... but it wasa bit grey for a stretch and so I'm going to preach a little sermon (post) to myself to lift my eyes and heart to the Truth...
But first, here's the backdrop for you:
Saturday morning I skyped with one of my dearest friends in the world. She stood up and we finally got the camera position just right so I could see how ripe and round her belly is, full of life. And I got her email about all the girlfriends who were welcome to come by her place as soon as she's in labor. (She even has a hamper set aside for them to match socks for her, such a thoughtful host to provide an activity for the waiting.) I love this girl and I love that baby coming soon and my man, and our babies and I are half the world away from all those friends that will gather with all their babies.
Then we ate breakfast on the "boat" that the kids arranged out of the living room furniture. That was my best shot at trying to give the kids a fun mom morning.... but it ended with too many messes, an increasingly grumpy mom, and the corner of the table impressed on John's forehead looking like a blue and purple marble bulging under his skin. (The pancakes were delicious though. Thank you, darling!)
After clean up that took probably an hour longer than it needed to, Marian and I decided to bake pretzel rolls. Ugly thoughts swirled through my head, jealous bitterness about how how far we are from the lucky people who can just go to the store and buy pretzels or ice cream or tortilla chips... and how if we could buy pretzels, we'd probably also have heat and how nice that would be... (really though, we'll have heat in less than two weeks now! and what of the millions in this country that won't have heat all winter long!? This complaining and ungratefulness is shameful but true!)
Matt started packing up to head out to class. It was almost noon so he asked me what we were going to do for lunch.... (I don't think I ever asked him. Darn selfishness!) With my plainest face, I told him that the kids and I would be fasting from lunch that day.... and Matt and I enjoyed a quick moment of amazement together at the work load involved in loving these precious treasured gifts the Lord has so generously given us. (Don't get me wrong.... not for one millisecond have our kids been unloved, it's just that the amount of work it is to care for them and keep up with life continually astounds and exhausts me!)
But it was true, Daddy would be gone the rest of the day and I still needed to feed this crew.... I misread the recipe and the pretzels- the half batch that we managed to unstick from the pan- turned out pretty unspecial but at least we did have something to eat.
Then, after too much more mess making and grumpy mess-cleaning, we made it to reading time and nap time (such a Gift of God!) and that's when my language tutor arrived for my class too...
And by the Lord's great grace.... the day ended much happier than it began.
Now here's what I want to lift my head up for... to set my mind on... I want to take captive these untrue thoughts and bind my mind to dwell on Truth... a habit of speaking the truth to myself. This time, this truth is from Habakkuk.
Though I am way too far from my dearest friends
and from our fun family,
though new lives are being born
that will be unheld, unkissed (by us) for years,
and our littlest is unkissed by all of those far-away (except her travel-pro, wonderful grandparents,)
though we are cold,
(and this country doesn't seem to sell a single blanket long enough for us)
and we are hungry for home,
though the skies are grey,
and rust and smogified cement cloud my views,
though our kids are kids (and while they are treasured and delighted in)
I am still so tired from meeting their needs for care and help still pretty much 24 hours a day...
none of this is paramount.
Despite all that makes me feel empty and broken and tired and needy,
Yet I will rejoice in the LORD;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength
he charges my heart with his power
so that I can rise,
be reminded of the truth of his patient, forgiving love for me!
and behold His faithfulness,
in the midst of all my grey,
that I may dwell richly in the land of his promise:
"I am, that I am."
"I am with you."
"You are mine."
(an adaptation/ paraphrase of Habakkuk 3:17-19)
Lord, please help me to rejoice in you despite everything (however silly or serious) here.
This post from David Powlison about Psalm 23 and what he wrote as an "antipsalm" inspired me to adapt/apply this passage like this. Powlison's post is so outstandingly worth sharing, worth discussing with everyone.... oh to live and apply the truth of the true psalm!